It’s not easy to release the unnecessary baggage you’ve been carrying around with you all this time unless you know to how to catch yourself holding onto it.
The past is the hardest thing to rid ourselves of, mostly because we don’t realize that it is weighing us down. Or we have become addicted to the pull. I’m one of those people. But on Oct. 10, I turned one year older, and hopefully I am also one year wiser.
Memories leave imprints on our souls. Emotional baggage, like old fossils, cement and harden, destined to live on for proverbial centuries in our minds. I realized that like fossils, this baggage need to be excavated and analyzed. But once you dig up memories and objectively dissect them, there comes a time when you have to release them into the wild. Mind you, it’s not enough to merely “let go” of the past or to “get over” your current anxieties. You must literally be mindful of your thoughts and condition your brain like any other muscle to finally process the baggage. You need to allow yourself to release the pain in order to heal old wounds and to rid yourself of present worries.
Catch and release should take place after you’ve completed the grieving process. I didn’t realize until recently that the grieving process materializes in our lives in many different ways. It doesn’t need to be related to an actual physical death. But, there is a death of some kind. There is the death of our own expectations or personal ambitions that we or others didn’t quite meet. There is the death of personal relationships and doors that needed to be closed. But the saying “when one door closes, another opens” is very true. It’s just a matter of being conscious enough to see the new entrance way.
I learned the hard way that if we live too much in our heads we’re too busy internalizing and being unconscious to the world around us and its endless opportunities. It’s very easy to not be “present.” If you’re living in your inner world all the time, you’re oblivious to the beneficial people and experiences that are right in front of you. That’s why catching and releasing is imperative. Perhaps before this step we need to first acknowledge that there are things in our hearts and souls that need releasing.
The Bottom Line:
There is nothing wrong with self-reflection. But, too much dwelling on the past or on painful memories can rob us of the focus we should have on how to better ourselves. While therapy can be a good thing, this is precisely why some people, like motivational speaker and life coach guru Tony Robbins, believe that revisiting the past again and again via traditional therapy is not as effective in the long term. I do think that therapy works, to a point. You and I simply need to eventually come to terms with our past, stop analyzing it and move on.
Catch and release is the ultimate step we all can hope to achieve to reach true enlightenment. And not doing so half-heartedly, where tomorrow you end up picking back up the same concerns, worries, baggage, wounds, anger, and blame. Forgiveness is a huge part of this process, but it can’t be obtained without catching yourself in the act and releasing all the bad feelings for good.